|Publication number||US7701934 B2|
|Application number||US 10/979,736|
|Publication date||Apr 20, 2010|
|Filing date||Nov 2, 2004|
|Priority date||Nov 2, 2004|
|Also published as||US20060092931|
|Publication number||10979736, 979736, US 7701934 B2, US 7701934B2, US-B2-7701934, US7701934 B2, US7701934B2|
|Inventors||Edward Walter, Jae-Sun S Chin, Robert Raymond Popp, Jr.|
|Original Assignee||At&T Intellectual Property I, L.P.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (22), Classifications (15), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The present disclosure relates generally to the management of multiple private networks by a network management system via a public network.
Network management is important to businesses, government agencies, schools, banks, hospitals, and other institutions having multiple computers connected via a network. Simple network management protocol (SNMP) is one solution for remotely managing devices connected via a network. SNMP can be used to monitor managed devices using a polling method or a trapping method. A polling method allows a network management system (NMS) to collect information from remotely managed devices by prompting the managed devices to send management messages to the NMS on a specific schedule. On the other hand, a trapping method allows remotely managed devices to automatically send management messages to an NMS without prompting. In a management message sent via SNMP, the source Internet protocol (IP) address is recorded in the IP header of the message and in the payload of the message.
For networked devices to communicate with each other, every networked device has a unique IP address. For example, each device connected to the Internet is assigned a unique IP address having the following format ###.###.###.###. As such, each device can be identified when necessary. A range of available IP addresses are reserved for use by private networks and the same private IP addresses can be used in different private networks. Request for comment (RFC) 1918 indicates that the private addresses include the IP addresses from 10.0.0.0 to 10.255.255.255, the IP addresses from 172.16.0.0 to 172.31.255.255, and the IP addresses from 192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255.
In certain instances, one private network may have a plurality of devices that have the same private IP address as devices in another private network. This typically is not a problem because the networks are private and are not interconnected. If the privately networked devices do interact via a public network, e.g., the Internet, network address translation (NAT) can modify the IP address in the header of a message in order to assign a unique identifier to the header of the message. However, NAT does not modify the payload of the message. When managing multiple private networks via a public network, it is possible for duplicate IP addresses to occur in the payloads of management messages. Thus, it can be very difficult to manage multiple private networks via a public network using SNMP and NAT.
Accordingly, there is a need for an improved system and method for managing multiple private networks via a public network.
The present invention is pointed out with particularity in the appended claims. However, other features are described in the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
A network management system includes a processor and a memory that is accessible by the processor. A computer program is embedded within the memory. The computer program includes instructions to detect the receipt of one or more modified management messages. Each of the one or more modified management messages includes one or more modified data packets having a unique identifier. The computer program further includes instructions to determine an originating device associated with each of the unique identifiers.
In a particular embodiment, the computer program includes instructions to request the one or more modified management data packets from the one or more managed devices within the private network. Also, in a particular embodiment, the unique identifier is a predetermined device management password. Further, the predetermined device management password is a community string for a simple network management protocol data packet.
In a particular embodiment, the computer program also includes instructions to manage the one or more managed devices based on the modified data packets. Moreover, the computer program includes instructions to create one or more management reports based on the modified data packets. Additionally, the computer program includes instructions to present the one or more management reports to a user via a graphical user interface.
In another embodiment, a network management router is provided for managing one or more managed devices in a private network. The network management router includes a processor and a memory that is accessible to the processor. Further, a proxy agent is embedded within the memory. The proxy agent includes instructions to detect when one or more of the management messages is received at the network management router. Each of the one or more management messages includes one or more management data packets. The proxy agent also includes instructions to modify the one or more management data packets to include a unique managed device identifier.
In yet another embodiment, a method for managing one or more devices within a private network includes receiving a management message at a network management system coupled to a private network. The management message includes one or more management data packets. Further, each of the one or more management data packets includes a unique identifier that corresponds to one of the one or more devices.
Referring now to
In a particular embodiment, the unique identifier is a device management password assigned that is assigned to a particular managed device, e.g., an SNMP community string. The unique identifier can be compared to a table of stored unique identifiers in order to identify the managed device 110 that sent the management message. Particularly, a managed device 110 can be identified by the private address of the managed device 110 and the public address of the network management router 114 to which the managed device 110 is coupled.
As indicated in
In a particular embodiment, the NMS 126 can send a plurality of SNMP packets to the managed devices 110, 118 via the network management routers 114, 122. Further, in a particular embodiment, an SNMP packet can include an IP header, a user datagram protocol (UDP) header, and an SNMP portion. The IP header includes a source IP address, a destination IP address, and a protocol number. In the case of UDP, the protocol number is seventeen (17). Also, the UDP header can include a source port number that can be randomly generated. In a particular embodiment, the source port number is in a range from 1024 to 65,000. Further, the UDP header can include a destination port at a router. The SNMP portion of the SNMP packet includes a version number, such as version 1, version 2c, or version 3. Also, the SNMP portion of the SNMP packet includes a command, such as get, trap, etc. Further, the SNMP portion of the SNMP packet includes a community string. The community string is a user identification or password that can allow access to a managed device in order to obtain information about the managed device, such as, operational statistics.
In a particular embodiment, a query sent by the NMS 126 to a management router 114, 122 includes the public IP address for the NMS 126 as the source IP address for the SNMP packet and the public IP address for the management router 114, 122 as the destination IP address for the SNMP packet. Also, the community string for the SNMP packet is set at a predefined value, e.g., “string1.” The community string corresponds to a managed device 110, 118 coupled to the management router 114, 122 and the proxy agent 116, 124 can use the community string, “string1,” to obtain an internal address for a corresponding managed device 110, 118 from a lookup table that is accessible by the proxy agent. Then, the management router 114, 122 can send a query to the managed device 110, 118 that includes the private IP address of the router 114, 122 as the source IP address and the private IP address of the managed device 110, 118 derived from the lookup table as the destination address. The community string can be set as a new value, e.g., “public,” and the command can be set as “get.”
The managed device 110, 118 can send a response to the management router 114, 122 and the response can include the private IP address of the managed device 110, 118 as the source IP address and the private IP address of the management router 114, 122 as the destination IP address. The community string can remain as “public.” Also, the SNMP command can be set as “response.” The proxy agent 116, 124 can modify the response so that the source IP address of the response from the management router 114, 122 to the NMS is the public IP address of the management router 114, 122 and the destination IP address is the public IP address of the NMS 126. The community string can be modified to the first value, “string1,” and the SNMP command can remain “response.” The NMS 126 can use the look up table 136 embedded within the memory device 130 in order to determine which managed device 110, 118 at a private network 102, 104 managed by the management router 114, 122 corresponds to “string1.” Thus, any problems attributed to overlapping private IP addresses at the different private networks 102, 104 are avoided.
Referring now to
Proceeding to block 306, the network management router receives one or more management messages from one or more of the managed devices. Then, at block 308, the network management router modifies each management message so that the header of each management message includes a unique identifier and so that each management data packet within the payload of the management message also includes a unique identifier that corresponds to the device from which the management message is sent. In an illustrative embodiment, the unique identifier is a device management password that is assigned to a particular managed device of a private network. Further, the unique identifier can be an SNMP community string that can be compared to a look up table in order to determine the managed device from which a management data packet originated. Moving to block 310, the network management router transmits the modified management messages including the modified data packets to the NMS.
Continuing to block 312, the NMS receives one or more of the modified management messages. At block 314, the NMS determines the originating device of each modified data packet within each management message. Moreover, at block 316, the NMS associates each modified data packet with a predefined management scheme for a private network based on the originating device of each modified data packet. In a particular embodiment, the predefined management scheme can be part of a service level agreement (SLA) between a private network customer and a network management company. The SLA can outline the terms of the operation of the private network. For example, the SLA can outline the threshold packet delivery rate for the private network, the threshold latency for the private network, and the jitter for the private network.
At block 318, the NMS uses the modified data packets to manage the associated managed devices. In a particular embodiment, the NMS can use the management data packets to determine whether each managed device is operating within predefined parameters. Additionally, the NMS can use the management data packets to control the operation of each managed device within a private network by establishing the network settings for each managed device. Further, the NMS can use the management messages to modify one or more network settings of the managed devices to ensure that the private network is operating according to the terms of the SLA and the predefined management scheme.
Continuing the description of the method, at block 320, the NMS creates network management reports for devices within various private networks based on the management data packets received from the managed devices within each private network. At block 322, the NMS provides the network management reports to a customer. In a particular embodiment, the network management reports are provided to a customer via a graphical user interface. Further, in a particular embodiment, the network management reports can detail the operation of each managed device. Also, the network management reports can indicate current network settings for each managed device and any changes to the network settings of each managed device. As shown in
In a particular embodiment, the method depicted in
With the configuration of structure described above, the system and method for managing devices within a private network via a public network provides a method to accurately manage the devices within multiple private networks without confusing management data packets from one device within one private network with management data packets from another device within another private network.
The above-disclosed subject matter is to be considered illustrative, and not restrictive, and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications, enhancements, and other embodiments, which fall within the true spirit and scope of the present invention. Thus, to the maximum extent allowed by law, the scope of the present invention is to be determined by the broadest permissible interpretation of the following claims and their equivalents, and shall not be restricted or limited by the foregoing detailed description.
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|U.S. Classification||370/389, 370/399, 709/223, 370/395.3|
|International Classification||H04L12/56, H04L12/28|
|Cooperative Classification||H04L41/0213, H04L41/0803, H04L41/5003, H04L43/065, H04L41/28, H04L41/5035, H04L41/5019|
|European Classification||H04L43/06B, H04L41/28|
|Apr 4, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SBC KNOWLEDGE VENTURES, L.P., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WALTER, EDWARD;CHIN, JAE-SUN;POPP, ROBERT RAYMOND JR.;REEL/FRAME:016000/0131
Effective date: 20050126
Owner name: SBC KNOWLEDGE VENTURES, L.P.,NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:WALTER, EDWARD;CHIN, JAE-SUN;POPP, ROBERT RAYMOND JR.;REEL/FRAME:016000/0131
Effective date: 20050126
|Sep 25, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4